Patterns in History: Bisa Butler Portraits at The Art Institute

Creating a historical narrative can easily become an artform all its own. Weaving a cultural narrative with the potent messages worthy of conveyance from one generation to the next is no light pursuit. Transform that narrative from written language to a visual tapestry, and you bring real depth to history and culture merging into the realm of artistry. This winter, The Art Institute of Chicago will present a new exhibition that showcases the kind of artistry that makes history come alive. Bisa Butler: Portraits, on view at the museum through April 19, 2021 showcases 22 quilts in four galleries and engages viewers with poignant themes of family, community, migration and the promise of youth, artistic and intellectual legacies. Meticulously stitched with vivid fabrics that emerge in painterly portraits, Bisa Butler’s quilts convey rich, one-of-a-kind, multidimensional narratives of Black life.

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Wrightwood 659 Collaborator Jonathon David Katz Awarded Prestigious Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant

Wrightwood 659 recently congratulated its friend, curator, and collaborator, Jonathan David Katz on the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s announcement of a $5M award for the proposal Dispossessions in the Americas: The Extraction of Bodies, Land, and Heritage from La Conquista to the Present.

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Surreality: Preview of “The Long Dream” at MCA

Equal parts farce and harsh reality, the year 2020 has been something of a surreal moment for most of us. Few, if any, can boast of lives untouched by the events that have thrown our nation, nee world, into flux these past eight or night months. On our hands, we’ve got a worldwide pandemic which has amassed millions of victims worldwide and killed more than 200,000 (and still counting) in the U.S. alone; public unrest has mounted quickly over what is seen as unjust, state-absolved killings of unarmed African-Americans at the hands of police; shutdowns from coast to coast that have upended any sense of normalcy for most households; pulsing upticks in white-nationalism have taken place in the public square; and on top of all of that, we’ve got a contentious presidential election on our hands.

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City of Chicago Unveils New Riverwalk Murals

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) in collaboration with the Department of Assets, Information and Services (AIS) recently announced new public artworks on the Chicago Riverwalk – including a mural celebrating 100 years of Art Deco by artist Kate Lynn Lewis and portraits of Chicagoans by street muralist Dont Fret. Guests to the Riverwalk are required to wear a face covering and practice social distancing.

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Summer Festivals Adapt to New Normal Amid Pandemic Shutdowns

Of the many things Chicago does well—some of the most popular annual events, beloved by Chicagoans and visitors alike—are neighborhood art fairs. Taking over blocks and blocks of business districts in the city and suburbs, these festivals of visual art and artists are fantastic ways to celebrate summer, neighborhoods and Chicagoland, all in one fell swoop.

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Finding El Greco

There’s something quite fascinating about a historical figure whose life’s work has transcended generations. When that figure is someone who’s motivations and movements were shrouded in mystery, their work bears even more scrutiny. Their works take on even more meaning. A new exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago seeks to unveil the mystery behind one such master by examining the works he left behind.

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